Wasatch girls lose undefeated status; Layton Christian edges them, 56-54

 

Matt Harris

Staff writer

2-9-2017

 

MT. PLEASANT—The Lady Tigers’ road trip didn’t start out all the way they’d hoped, suffering their first loss of the season.

The Wasatch Academy girls basketball team was stunned by a well-prepared Layton Christian team, 56-54, which subsequently dropped the previously fourth-ranked Lady Tigers out of the 2A Top 5. The loss also knocked Wasatch off the top of the Region 14 standings, now sitting in second place with a 6-1 record.

“I think we were beaten by a very good team,” head coach Coke Whiteworth said. “They had a great game plan and executed it very well. Our team was never able to get any good rhythm or momentum really, and so much of that is due to how well LCA executed their game plan. I was proud of our girls for fighting back from being down 12 points twice, to even have the chance to win in the last possession.”

The Lady Eagles had Wasatch number from the start, as Whiteworth mentioned, but were still having to figure out how to stop a machine by the name of Manu Oliviera. The Lady Tigers’ junior guard carried her team to the tune of 35 points. Freshman Courtney Condie also added 10 points.

Despite the loss, Whiteworth sees a bright side.

“It was an incredible atmosphere to play in and was a game that I am sure we will learn from,” Whiteworth said. “The loss was probably a good thing in the long run because it really forced us to look at areas of our game that we really need to improve upon moving forward.”

Subsequently, the Lady Tigers took out their frustrations on an outmatched Rockwell team, throttling them, 72-39. By the end of the first quarter, Wasatch was leading the hapless Lady Marshals, 27-0.

The game’s featured scorers were the usual big three of Wasatch: Oliviera, junior Mari Zanelatto, and junior Vanessa Medina. Medina led the charge with 22 points, while Oliviera and Zanelatto added 16 each.
The Lady Tigers also defeated American Prep Academy, 77-29. Stats were not available.

Upcoming, Wasatch hopes to regain its hold on the region title by finishing the season with wins. After playing at home against Waterford last Tuesday (score next week), the Lady Tigers host their season finale against Rowland Hall tonight at 7 p.m.

North Sanpete's Ryann Tapia goes for a layup on the Richfield defense. Tapia had five points on a low-scoring night for the Lady Hawks. - Kyler Daybell / Messenger photo

North Sanpete’s Ryann Tapia goes for a layup on the Richfield defense. Tapia had five points on a low-scoring night for the Lady Hawks. – Kyler Daybell / Messenger photo

Lady Hawks drop to 1-6 in region play following losses to Juab, Richfield

 

Matt Harris

Staff writer

2-9-2017

 

MT. PLEASANT—The Lady Hawks are catching no breaks, having lost their last three games.

North Sanpete’s girls basketball team dropped to a paltry 1-6 region record following losses to Juab and Richfield this past week, losing by respective scores of 27-21 and 43-29.

“Last week’s game were tough games,” head coach Randi Griffith said. “I feel that the team has made some huge strides in getting better and we are working as a team.  They are really battling through a tough season and showing a lot of character in the fight that they are putting into games.”

The Lady Hawks’ offensive woes continue to be on display as they failed to eclipse the threshold of 30 points in a game for the seventh and eighth times this season, and have only scored over 40 once in their last 11 games.

North Sanpete’s defensive effort kept them in the game against the 4-2 Juab Lady Wasps. The Lady Hawks held Juab to only four players in the scoring column on the night, but couldn’t get enough done on their end of the court to seal what would have been a quality win for the struggling team.   Junior Catherine Lund led the team with six points.

The next game, North Sanpete got a taste of state-level competition in Richfield, and it did not go down smoothly. Richfield methodically dismantled the Lady Hawks to give them their 15th loss. Ryann Tapia and Lund led the Hawks in scoring with five points each.

North Sanpete is still not in last place in the region standings courtesy of a winless Canyon View squad. They played the Lady Falcons last Tuesday (score next week).

Griffith said, “Our biggest problem keeping us from winning games right now is we are really struggling to put the ball through the hoop. We are getting good luck we just have to finish. I feel that our defense has become really strong we are just waiting for our offense to catch up.”

Wasatch forward Josip Vrankic drew contact aplenty in a physical game against Layton Christian Academy played at the Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City. The oft-scoring forward was held to nine points by a tough Eagles interior defense. - Matt Harris / Messenger photo

Wasatch forward Josip Vrankic drew contact aplenty in a physical game against Layton Christian Academy played at the Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City. The oft-scoring forward was held to nine points by a tough Eagles interior defense. – Matt Harris / Messenger photo

Wasatch boys win at Vivint Smart Arena

 

Matt Harris

Staff writer

2-9-2017

 

SALT LAKE CITY—It’s not likely that anyone expected the Layton Christian Eagles to hang at all with the No. 1-ranked Tigers, but it happened.

While poor shooting and possession control plagued the Wasatch boys basketball team for 24 minutes of action, the Tigers used a resurgent fourth quarter to shoot down the Eagles’ hopes of pulling off the biggest upset of the year. Finally triumphing over LCA, 65-52, the Tigers won on Utah’s most hallowed basketball court in the Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City.

Junior point guard Damion Squire led all scorers, doing his damage from the line with three three-pointers as part of his 20 points. Junior Emmanuel Akot contributed 13 points, while junior scorer Zion Young netted another 11.

LCA had Wasatch right where they wanted them early on, frustrating every facet of the Tigers’ high-profile offense and finesse with a gritty, turnover-hungry defense. Wasatch’s shooters were Arctic-cold to start the game, missing 11 shots under the basket along with eight misses from the foul line. Their jumpers and faring no better, and the Eagles held an unexpected 14-13 lead at the end of the first.

The second and third quarters played out much the same, with Wasatch’s relatively putrid offense being saved by its own defensive effort. Wasatch led the Eagles, 41-35, going into the fourth quarter.

The Tigers finally found themselves again just in time to blow away Layton Christian in the fourth quarter, 24-17, on the back of a surge of outside shooting efficiency from Squire and Young. The Tigers also would only miss two more of their 24 free-throw attempts for the rest of the game.

“The biggest difference was our effort,” head coach Curtis Condie said. “Layton played really hard tonight. This is like their Super Bowl, until they get to the state tournament, being able to play in this arena. For our guys, it’s just another game. The other difference is that we’ve played so many games this year with a shot clock. I could tell that that affected us on defense.”

The Tigers were treated, courtesy of the Utah Jazz Organization, to seats at the Jazz game against the Charlotte later that night, which Condie saw as a great experience for all involved.

“The biggest thing was being able to go early and see how hard [the Jazz] work to get ready for the game,” Condie said.

There are a few games left on the Tigers’ instate schedule, after which they hope to receive placement in the Dick’s Sporting Goods National Tournament. The Tigers will be at home for their last two games of the season against Kearns and Jordan tomorrow night and Tuesday night at 7 p.m.

Madison Mooring, guarded by an SLCC player, attempts a spin move on offense. The Lady Badgers couldn't pull out the win against the first-place Lady Bruins last week, falling 68-61. - Kyler Daybell / Messenger photo

Madison Mooring, guarded by an SLCC player, attempts a spin move on offense. The Lady Badgers couldn’t pull out the win against the first-place Lady Bruins last week, falling 68-61. – Kyler Daybell / Messenger photo

Lady Badgers lose early leads, fall to both foes

 

Matt Harris

Staff writer

2-9-2017

 

EPHRAIM—“So close, and yet so far” would be an accurate way of describing the week that the Snow College women’s basketball team just had.

After last week’s humiliating loss to Colorado Northwestern, the Lady Badgers held solid leads against both Southern Idaho and No. 6-ranked Salt Lake, in Ephraim, only to see both slip away as Snow lost to each team, 75-68 and 68-61, respectively, and close out the week with a three-game losing streak. The Lady Badgers are now 4-6 in the Scenic West Athletic Conference and 9-12 on the season.

“I really wish I had all the answers,” head coach Mike Russell said. “It’s something we’ve been battling all season, inconsistency that is. I believe playing a roster comprised of nearly all freshmen is part of our issue. With that lack of experience, our kids are being put in situations they’ve never been in, whereas every team we’re facing in conference all have a core group of sophomores who have been there before.”

Snow battled hard against Southern Idaho, coming out of an early deficit to go on a 14-1 scoring to claim the halftime lead, 32-28. Later, after Southern Idaho had reestablished their lead in the game, 47-40, Snow attempted to do the same thing again but was gutted by the fouling out of leading scorer Lindsay Cook. Despite a string of threes by Snow freshman Kayla Hugie, the Golden Eagles took the game.

Hugie led the scoring by the end of the game with 18 points, while freshman Madison Mooring added 11.

Despite the struggling season, Snow has recently shown an aptitude for matching up well with the nationally-ranked Salt Lake squad, and this game was no different. Snow once again built up a sizable early lead by as much as 12 points with 3:05 remaining in the first half. That was all that the Lady Badgers could do before Salt Lake surged on back, taking the lead by 11 in the final minute of the game.

Despite the loss, the Lady Badgers got a star-quality game out of their leading scorers, freshmen  Cook and Hugie, who combined for 40 of Snow’s 61 points in the game.

“We’re just trying to keep our kids focused and competing hard,” Russell said. “There will come a day when we will be able to close out games.”

Freshman Siki Suguturaga also added 10 points and had three blocks.

Following their game at Utah State-Eastern last Tuesday (score next week), the Lady Badgers hope to avenge their loss to Colorado Northwestern at home this Saturday at 3 p.m.

 

 

 Paige King, desperately trying to create a play here against top-ranked Emery, had nine points against the Lady Spartans, a bright spot amidst a 73-36 shellacking. - Matt Harris / Messenger photo


Paige King, desperately trying to create a play here against top-ranked Emery, had nine points against the Lady Spartans, a bright spot amidst a 73-36 shellacking. – Matt Harris / Messenger photo

Emery runs away from Gunnison 73-36

 

Matt Harris

Staff writer

2-9-2017

 

GUNNISON—The Lady Bulldogs showed promise for the future despite a 73-36 dismantling at the hands of the first-place Emery Lady Spartans.

The Gunnison girls basketball team never had much of a chance in the lopsided affair, down by 15 at the end of the first, but had some good moments before all was said and done. Sophomores Paige and Jaida King co-led the Lady Bulldogs with nine points apiece.

While the result looked like a foregone conclusion early on, the Bulldogs had a momentary comeback effort in the second quarter when down 19-4, Gunnison surged for a head-turning 13-2 scoring run that brought them within four shortly before the first half was closing. The Lady Spartans promptly turned the game back around by outscoring Gunnison, 11-1 in the last few minutes, gutting the Lady Bulldogs offensive surge with steal after steal.

The second half played far more as expected of this Emery team, blowing out Gunnison, 41-18 in the second half en route to the victory.

“We had a better game against Emery than we did a few weeks ago,” head coach Melissa Sorensen said. “Our ball movement was excellent all throughout the game.

Gunnison ends its regular season at home against North Sevier tonight at 7 p.m.

 Once a premiere D1-level quarterback at Boston College, Snow alum Paul Peterson’s road in football led him back to the Badgers as the newest head coach for the 2017 season.


Once a premiere D1-level quarterback at Boston College, Snow alum Paul Peterson’s road in football led him back to the Badgers as the newest head coach for the 2017 season.

Snow coach knows what it means to be a Badger

 

Matt Harris

Staff writer

2-9-2017

 

EPHRAIM—Paul Peterson, recently hired as head coach of the Snow College football team, has experienced firsthand what it means to be a Badger.

Preparing for his first season as a head coach in any football program, the young coach knows what is on his shoulders, namely, a powerhouse junior college football program very much accustomed to winning.

Peterson sat down with the Messenger to talk about his journey to, from, and back to Ephraim, and the things he has learned along the way.

As far as heroes go, Peterson has had his since birth.

“These days, you have all these coaching gurus,” Peterson said. “Growing up, I didn’t really have those, so the guys that I looked up to were my siblings. My older brother, Charlie, played at BYU, so my whole goal was to be better than him. I learned a lot from him.

“I had a good high school coach named Kirk Johnson. He played at Utah State. He demanded a lot from me. He taught me some of the fundamentals that I hadn’t been coached before. I was just out there slinging it around. Those lasted all the way till I was at Boston College.”

After Peterson played backup quarterback in his first year at Snow, he served an LDS mission in Managua, Nicaragua, a country far more known for its baseball prowess than anything to do with football.

“When I came back, I had lost 20 pounds,” Peterson said. “The weight didn’t come on too quick. It took me a while to get back into it; first couple games were a little shaky, and then I started coming on.”

In his final year with the Badgers, Peterson led Snow to a 9-2 record but broke his collarbone in the final game, one of many injuries he sustained during his playing career.

Of all the hits he had taken, the worst one came in his final year as a star quarterback at Boston College when he was taken down on a sideline run and broke his leg. Peterson says that that was the moment where he finally started thinking about whether he should keep playing. A year playing professionally in Canada made it even clearer that it was time to hang up the cleats.

“I just wasn’t the same,” Peterson said. “I didn’t have the same quickness and explosion, even with my throw because I couldn’t plant off my foot. My confidence wasn’t the same.”

Peterson was replaced in that game by his backup, Matt Ryan, who currently quarterbacks for the NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons.

The injury, Peterson says, helped transition into coaching, first with several programs as a graduate assistant before translating to full-time coaching. At the FCS level, Peterson’s offenses were record-breakers at Southern Utah and Sacramento State.

So why come back to Snow?

“I get an opportunity to be a head coach, which is awesome, in a place that I care about deeply,” Peterson said. “I owe a lot to Snow College. At [FCS] level, there are certain pressures that you can’t anticipate. That’s the problem with college athletics now is that there’s so much pressure to win, win, win. It sucks the fun out of it. If anything, I see this as an opportunity to grow and organize myself to be able to run a program.”

Peterson says he remains committed in his first statement to the press about his desire to make Snow champions “on and off the field.” He had this to say about his statement:

“You can’t show up on the football field and expect to be champion if, in other aspects of your life, you’re faltering. I think you’ve got to put maximum effort in everything that you do. You’re acting like a champion even before you’re a champion. These guys have an opportunity here, and I don’t want them to waste it.”

Currently, Peterson remains hot on the recruiting trail. Since Peterson was brand new to Snow, it didn’t provide much time for him to attract players before National Signing Day, and he hopes to pick up the pace.

Sophomore Shawn Taylor draws contact under the basket against Juab. Taylor was one of four players in double figures on the night, scoring 14 points. - Matt Harris / Messenger photo

Sophomore Shawn Taylor draws contact under the basket against Juab. Taylor was one of four players in double figures on the night, scoring 14 points. – Matt Harris / Messenger photo

Hawks beat Wasps 57-51, then fall to Richfield 52-44

 

Matt Harris 

Staff writer

2-9-2017

 

MT. PLEASANT—The North Sanpete boys basketball team came away with a season-defining win last week against their cross-county rivals, Juab.

Thanks to one of the most balanced offensive efforts of the Hawks’ season, the Hawks persevered in a tough matchup against the Wasps that was neck-and-neck from start to finish, pulling away at the very end for a 57-51 victory.

Junior Spencer Steadman led North Sanpete in scoring with 16 points, while sophomore Shawn Taylor added 14. Also, senior Kaleb Bailey added 11 points, while junior Jalen Sorensen made three three-pointers en route to another 11.

Though the game was perpetually close, Juab maintained a lead and control of the game for most of the first half, leading by five at the end of the first quarter. Near the end of the second, North Sanpete began gaining offensive traction with solid outside shooting, enough to tie up the game at halftime, 23-23.

The second half saw a fire in the eyes of the resurgent Hawks, who matched a hot-shooting pair of Juab players blow for blow, never giving up ground. The defensive presence of Bailey at center forced the Wasps outside, and they managed 10 made threes by game’s end. Nevertheless, the Hawks took over in the end, going ahead by as much as 10 in the latter part of the fourth quarter, and did enough at the foul line to seal the win.

As thrilling of a victory as it was, North Sanpete’s luck ran out in their next game, falling in an upset to third-place Richfield last Friday, 52-44. Despite a solid 11-point night from Bailey, who has scored in double figures in four straight games, the Hawks could not withstand a 25-point outburst from Richfield’s top player, and they watched their first quarter lead slip away ever the course of the game.

Had the Hawks won the game, they would have been in good position to claim region with another win. The Hawks played first-place Canyon View last night (score next week) to take a crack at a possible region title. They now await state playoff seeding.

 Junior Manu Oliviera takes it to the hoop against Layton Christian. Oliviera lead the Lady Tigers in scoring on the season. - Kyler Daybell / Messenger photo


Junior Manu Oliviera takes it to the hoop against Layton Christian. Oliviera lead the Lady Tigers in scoring on the season. – Kyler Daybell / Messenger photo

[Read more…]

Lady Hawk Aubree Ison clashes with the Carbon coverage surrounding her during their game last Thursday. The Lady Dinos won 51-35, but the loss came on the heels of a solid 55-33 win against Canyon View just two days before. - Robert Stevens / Messenger photo

Lady Hawk Aubree Ison clashes with the Carbon coverage surrounding her during their game last Thursday. The Lady Dinos won 51-35, but the loss came on the heels of a solid 55-33 win against Canyon View just two days before. – Robert Stevens / Messenger photo

[Read more…]

Forward Siki Suguturaga made the most heroic play of the season on a final effort against Utah State-Eastern, watching the ball drop in for the 66-65 victory.

Forward Siki Suguturaga made the most heroic play of the season on a final effort against Utah State-Eastern, watching the ball drop in for the 66-65 victory.

Lady Badgers avenge loss to Price with 66-65 win, then fall to Colorado Northwestern

 

Matt Harris

Staff writer

2-2-2017

 

EPHRAIM—The Lady Badgers experienced the best of times and the worst of times one after the other last week.

Snow College’s women’s basketball team got a quality break when a last-second shot saved the Lady Badgers game in Price against Utah State-Eastern last Thursday, but good times only lasted so long as Snow followed up with a hapless 64-54 loss to bottom-ranked Colorado Northwestern last Saturday.

The Lady Badgers were close to the edge against USU-Eastern when freshman Siki Suguturaga’s last great shot sank.

As the game began, playing in front of a host of Golden Eagles supporters, Snow played with intensity in a back and forth game against USU-Eastern and had the initial upper hand, leading after the first quarter, 22-15. The Lady Eagles battled back in the second and took a 32-28 lead into halftime after a smothering defensive effort.

In the second half, Snow slowly battled back, inch by inch, to keep pace with USU-Eastern, but the Golden Eagles held their largest lead of the game at six with just under three minutes left to play.

A few good series put the Lady Badgers down by a single point. On an inbounds pass, freshman forward Siki Suguturaga pulled in the pass and laid up a quick fadeaway as time expired, sinking it for the win, 66-65.

“Siki was definitely a bright spot,” Russell said. “She was definitely the one we wanted to have the ball in the end.  In the end, it was a broken play, and Siki ended up making something out of nothing. It was a clutch play.”

The final shot capped off a double-double for Suguturaga, who finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Freshman Madison Mooring led all scorers with 15 points, while freshmen Lindsay Cook and Harley Hansen scored 12 and 11 points, respectively. Turnovers played a big role in the Lady Badgers’ win, as eight steals contributed to 21 points off turnovers for the game.

In the loss against Colorado Northwestern, head coach Mike Russell said, “From the very onset of the game our players were flat and played with no emotion. Whether this was a result of coming off such an emotional game Thursday evening, I’m not sure, but our effort and execution were not where it should be.”

For much of the game, Snow was toe to toe with the visiting Lady Spartans, even going up by 13 midway through the third quarter. The rest of the second half went the way of Colorado Northwestern, who outscored the Lady Badgers by a collective 45-28 in the second half to seal Snow’s fate.

Snow could get nothing done on offense, shooting only 27 percent for the game and only getting a collective 20 points out of their starters. Backup first-year students led the Lady Badgers as Kayla Hugie and Jasmine Chavez each scored 12 points.

“There’s really no explanation for this game other than CNCC played much harder, executed much better, and wanted the win way more than our kids,” Russell said.

The Lady Badgers played against Southern Idaho last Tuesday, and they will face No. 6-ranked Salt Lake at home this Saturday at 3 p.m.

King powers Lady Bulldogs to third Region triumph

 

Matt Harris

Staff writer

2-2-2017

 

MOAB—For at least one game, sophomore Jaida King taught everyone a lesson in shooting.

The Lady Bulldogs’ sophomore put on an offensive clinic last Saturday as the Gunnison girls basketball team beat Grand County. King netted a career and season-high 27 points on the Red Devils behind five three-pointers.

The one-woman show kept Gunnison ahead of Grand nearly the entire game. Gunnison led at the end of the first quarter 14-4 and maintained a steady lead all the way to the end. The Lady Bulldogs’ 16 made field goals are their highest mark since the second game of the season, while they managed over 40 points for the first time in 13 games.

The win puts Gunnison in fourth-place in region 15 standings with a 3-4 record, a big surprise to early season predictions. Gunnison was picked by many polls to finish last in region. “We are exceeding expectations,” head coach Melissa Sorensen said.

Gunnison’s win helped patch up any wounds that might have been left open after the Lady Bulldogs lost their rematch with San Juan the day before, 54-34. Gunnison struggled mightily at the free-throw line, shooting 7-20 on foul shots, leaving many to wonder what could have been. Sophomore Sheridan Sorensen led the Lady Bulldogs with eight points.

The Lady Bulldogs played Emery last Tuesday (score next week) and will be traveling for its rematch with rival Manti tonight at 7 p.m.

Bulldog struggles continue with pair of tough losses

 

Matt Harris

Staff writer

2-2-2017

 

 

GUNNISON—The second round of region play has not gone as planned so far for the Bulldogs, who added more to the wrong side of the win-loss column last week.

Gunnison’s boys varsity basketball team caught no breaks in games against San Juan and Grand over the weekend, losing both games by scores of 66-47 and 57-43, respectively. The losses put the Bulldogs with a 1-6 region record, 8-9 overall, after starting the season 6-1.

The Bulldogs came out excited to get a second shot at their region slate, but the Broncos doused the flame quickly, icing the game behind 12 made three-pointers. Seniors Drew Hill and Cole Stewart led the Bulldogs with 18 and 17 points, respectively. Hill was equally impressive from range with four threes.

Grand was a different story with a similar ending. Gunnison showed resilience against the Red Devils in a back and forth game. The Bulldogs led at halftime, 30-27, and maintained that lead at the end of the third, 41-39, but it was all downhill from there. Grand took over the fourth, outscoring the Bulldogs, 18-2 in the last quarter to run away with the win.

“We have struggled all season long to put four quarters together,” head coach Ben Hill said.

Against Grand, Drew once again led the scoring effort with 18 points, while fellow senior Gage Mogle chipped in another 10.

It doesn’t get much easier down the stretch for Gunnison, who played Emery last night (score next week). Their last home game is tomorrow night against rival Manti at 7 p.m.

Wasatch taken down hard by Huskies, 106-80

 

Matt Harris

Staff writer

2-2-2017

 

CHINO HILLS, CA—Wasatch experienced first-hand over the weekend why Chino Hill, Calif. is called the top team in the country.

The Tigers traveled to face the California powerhouse in the Rolling Hills Prep State Review and came away with their harshest loss of the season, falling 106-80 to the Huskies. Wasatch is the 58th team in a row to lose to Chino Hills.

The Tigers were paralyzed early on in the score-fest. Chino dominated the game from start to finish behind monster performances from brothers LaMelo and Liangelo Ball, who combined for 65 points and 15 threes. LaMelo and LiAngelo are the brothers of UCLA star player Lonzo Ball, who is a highly-rated NBA prospect and was in attendance that evening.

Senior Josip Vrankic led the Tigers with 26 points, while junior Emmanuel Akot scored 17 and senior Damion Squire chipped in 13. It is the last time this season that the Tigers will play out-of-state.

Currently, Wasatch sports a 19-4 record and is still ranked No. 1 in the state of Utah by Deseret News polls. Upcoming, the Tigers will return home to play Layton Christian this Saturday at 7 p.m.

Badgers back on track with two lopsided wins

 

Matt Harris

Staff writer

2-2-2017

 

EPHRAIM—The Badgers aren’t about to let anyone think that they had lost their touch last week.

After last week’s loss to Salt Lake to make a tie for first place in conference play, the 24th-ranked Snow College men’s basketball quickly responded to adversity. The  Snow athletes kept pace by blowing out both Utah State-Eastern and Colorado Northwestern (CNCC)  last Thursday and Saturday by scores of 80-59 and 106-72, respectively.

The Badger offense notched not only its 19th win against CNCC but also its eighth 100-plus-point game this season. Snow currently averages 92.5 points per game, 29th in the NJCAA and best in the Scenic West Athletic Conference.

For head coach Rob Nielson, defense was the big difference.

“They played with a real desire to improve this past week,” Nielson said. “Our defensive effort was very good in both games, and offensively, we moved the ball as well as we have all year.”

Snow left USU-Eastern in the dust from the get-go, jumping out a 28-6 lead by just over eight minutes left in the first half and going into the locker room with a dominant 47-18 advantage. The Golden Eagles final found themselves coming out of the break and began the second half outscoring the Badgers 21-10, but Snow’s advantage was already too large. Snow’s largest lead of the game was 33 with 7:32 in the second half remaining.

Freshman Zach Hunsaker lead the Badgers with 20 points. Backup Romain Boxus had a season-high 14 points, while sophomores Riley Panter and Blake Truman each chipped in 12.

Against CNCC, it was the same story, only even more in the Badgers favor. Snow’s red-hot offense became white-hot, shooting a collective 67 percent from the field, including a blistering 62 percent from three. The game was never in doubt as the Badgers led 49-32 at halftime and their lead only grew. Snow was ahead by as much as 39 points shortly before the end of the game.

The key to the offensive effort were Snow’s 29 assists, which Nielson says is “what we are looking for each night. Our guys are playing as a team, and it is a fun style to play.”

Once again, Hunsaker led all scorers, netting 23 points, but he was just one of five players in double figures on Saturday. Truman followed with 21 points, while backups Romain Louiserre and Nate Aland each put in 16. Sophomore Nate Bruneel rounded it out with 11. Hunsaker is currently in the top 30 nationally for points per game.

With Southern Idaho beating Salt Lake earlier in the week, Snow once against stands alone at the top of SWAC standings. Snow hosted Southern Idaho last Tuesday (score next week) and will rematch with Salt Lake at home this Saturday at 5 p.m.

“This next round of conference play will be crucial for us, as we have three of the four at home,” Nielson said.

Hawks drop one, but get revenge against Dinos

 

Matt Harris

Staff writer

2-2-2017

 

PRICE—The Hawks are developing quite the penchant for surprising people after a brilliant win over Carbon.

North Sanpete Hawks varsity basketball team didn’t start their week well, losing 64-56 to Canyon View, but certainly ended on a positive note with the upset victory over the Dinos, 61-46. The win gave North Sanpete a winning record in region at 3-2, good enough for second place in the increasingly tight Region 12 standings. The 15-point win is the largest margin for the Hawks this season, who have turned around their struggling season just in time.

Top-ranked Canyon View taught North Sanpete a valuable lesson in that some holes just can’t be dug out of quick enough. Down by 20 at the end of the third quarter, the Hawks made a furious comeback attempt, outscoring the Falcons, 24-12, in the final quarter, unfortunately not enough to affect the outcome. While sophomore Shawn Taylor scored 17 points, the rarely-mentioned senior center Kaleb Bailey flexed his muscles beneath the basket en route to a 19-point performance to lead the Hawks. Bailey also grabbed seven rebounds.

Whatever magic North Sanpete conjured up in the last quarter against the Falcons was still in their system two days later when the Hawks took down Carbon on their own court. North Sanpete controlled the game from start to finish in the matchup, not being outscored in any quarter and topping 60 points for the first time in six games. Junior Spencer Steadman led with a monster night, scoring 23 points, while Bailey impressed again, chipping in 12.

The Hawks, who played Juab last night (score next week), will be on the road against Richfield tomorrow night at 7 p.m. before returning home for their final game against Canyon View next Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Snow softball off to a rocky start

 

Matt Harris

Staff writer

2-2-2017

 

HENDERSON—The Snow College softball team showcased their preseason work with an early set of games this year, coming away with a 2-3 record in Henderson, Nev.

The Lady Badgers struggled out of the gate with losses against Arizona Western and Eastern Arizona, falling 8-3 and 10-7, respectively, before picking up wins against Central Arizona, 2-1, and Odessa, 12-10. Snow dropped its final game of the preseason invitational against Yavapai College, 11-5.

Snow finished last season as one of its most successful ones ever, going 30-21 while accruing several player honors. It looks to continue the upward trend this season.

The real start of the Lady Badgers’ softball season will be in early March.